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Feeling Bummed? How Disappointment Works in the Brain

That feeling of "oh, bummer," is linked with a rather uncommon type of brain signaling, new research shows. The finding could lead to a new class of …

How Politics Breaks Our Brains

Humans are partisans by nature—but there's hope for ways to fight the impulse toward conflict.<p>I'm lying in the metal coffin of an MRI machine, listening to what sounds like jackhammers and smelling my own breath go stale. My head is secured in place. I have a panic button. I won't press it, but I …

How The Zebra Got Its Stripes, With Alan Turing

5 Delightful Science Experiments From 100 Years Ago

In 1892, the dubiously named Mr. Tom Tit published a book of at-home activities for children called <i>Magical Experiments: or, Science in Play</i>. He made …

Just Like Stupid Humans, Fish Get Cocky When They Drink

We humans love booze as liquid courage, but we're not the only ones who feel extra capable after a few swigs. New research shows that a tipsy zebra …

Fish

Chimpanzees React To A Robo-Doll

A large portion of what animals do is interact with each other. As a social species, we can hardly go an hour without some kind of interaction with …

Ravens can recognize social order outside of their own communities

Ravens’ capacity for intelligence isn’t news to scientists. These birds are excellent problem-solvers and can tackle physical challenges with …

So It Turns Out That Monkeys Are Pretty Good At Doing Math

Mathematics

Physicists Say Consciousness Might Be a State of Matter — NOVA Next

It’s not enough to have a brain. Consciousness—a hallmark of humans, mammals, birds, and even octopuses—is that mysterious force that makes all those …

Quantum Mechanics

Monkey mathematicians hint at brain’s number perception

Monkeys can do maths. Researchers have taught three rhesus monkeys to do simple addition using the numbers 1 through 25. The feat represents the best …

How diseases may have given us culture

Value your independence? You may want to thank your city’s sewage system. Enjoy reading the musings of Voltaire, the 18th century Enlightenment …

Cereal Mascots Earn Sales with Eye Contact

Yes, kids, Cap'n Crunch is looking at you. And so are the Trix rabbit, Toucan Sam and Tony the Tiger.<p>The mascots on boxes of cereal advertised to …

Body Language

Geneticists Create 3,500 Fly Strains To Find One That Moonwalks

Sometimes you have to take a step backward to make an advance.<p>How does the brain tell the body to walk backward? Scientists don't know. To find out, researchers developed 3,500 different strains of fruit flies. Each genetically-modified fly carried genetic switches in different parts of the brain …

Goats Found To Be Much Smarter Than Previously Believed

New research shows goats can quickly learn a puzzle, and remember how to solve it.<p>You think goats are dumb? Think again.<p>New research found that most goats tested could quickly figure out how to solve a "mechanical puzzle" that yielded a delicious piece of fruit. In this case they had to pull on and …

First Synthetic Yeast Chromosome Paves Way for Designer Genomes

A chunk of the genetic blueprint for yeast has been created and pieced together from scratch, paving the way for "designer" organisms that could …

Genetics

Brain Changes in Autism Likely Start Before Birth

A discovery of distinct patches of altered brain cells in children with autism suggests the condition starts before birth, during the brain …

Neuroscience

Scientists Reconstruct Faces From DNA Samples

Sometime in the future, technicians will go over the scene of the crime. They’ll uncover some DNA evidence and take it to the lab. And when the cops need to get a picture of the suspect, they won’t have to ask eyewitnesses to give descriptions to a sketch artist – they’ll just ask the technicians …

Studies Attempt To Prove That Animals Enjoy Music In The Same Manner As Humans

<i>Why do animals like music? Scientists believe it’s built in, it’s universal. They like it for the same reasons we like it, it feels right.</i><p>Trace …

The Brain

What an Elephant Knows About You from Your Voice — NOVA Next

Elephants never cease to surprise us. The elephant brain has three times as many neurons as our own (257 billion compared to our 86 billion). They …

Wildlife

Lucid dreaming made easier with the Aurora EEG headband

The system is two-part: a headband that circles around your forehead and an app which can connect to the Aurora via Bluetooth LE. The band is …

Sleep

Over 120 Science Journal Papers Pulled for Being Total Gibberish

If you ever find yourself scratching your head over the complicated articles in science and math journals, don't feel too bad about yourself. Because …

Smithsonian

Smithsonian

Beautiful Mouse Brain Map Holds Clues to Neurological Disease

Glowing new images of the mouse brain represent the most comprehensive mapping yet of the mammalian cortex.<p>Using fluorescent injections, researchers …

Neuroscience

Technologies for Hacking the Brain

Despite a century of sustained research, brain scientists remain ignorant of the workings of the 1.4-kilogram organ that is the seat of all conscious …